This brooch was an heirloom passed down to Jackie from her mother, Janet Norton Lee Bouvier. Janet came from a wealthy family, and luxury items were not as readily available to her in the U.S. as they were in Paris. Janet would travel to Paris twice a year to shop for clothes and jewelry, staying for weeks at a time.
Janet passed it along to Jackie sometime in 1958 or 1959. It was Janet’s custom to give family jewelry to her heirs while she was still alive so that she could see her children wear and enjoy the pieces.